There was a time when the mobile app industry was restricted to code and developing apps separately for different platforms i.e. iOS and Android, but now the tables are turned. Emerging technologies let mobile app developers code once and be used on cross platforms.
Nowadays cross-platform app frameworks are under the radar of every organization present in the world. This started when Facebook launched its cross-platform app development framework in 2015 which is now well-known as React Native.
Today more than 6.5 million people are using smartphones across the world and it is estimated that by 2027 the number will cross 7.5 million. According to Statista.com, nearly all mobile apps account for 57% of mobile internet traffic as a share of total global online traffic. This data indicates that ho significant it is to have a mobile app for businesses operating across the globe.
In addition, proven data shows that unique mobile users worldwide grew by 95 million over the period of 12 months. Thus the rate is increasing by 1.8 percent. You must have now got an understanding that the need of the hour is delivering a speedy, engaging, relevant app with an excellent customer experience. </
For this, the framework you choose to build your app plays a major role.
In this article, we’ll help you with choosing the right framework for your cross-platform app development and how to choose the best Flutter app development company. For other queries, you can see our blog section where we discussed other questions.
Flutter vs React Native: A look at some trends
Before diving deep into understanding the differences between Flutter and React Native, let’s first get to know the basics and some primary features of both frameworks.
What is Flutter
Dart is easy to learn than JS due to the easier syntax which is similar to human language. It contains fewer commands but provides more options. This makes developers choose any names for variables that can make the code more understandable for themselves. Although this has to be done carefully when more than one developer is going to work on it.
Primary Facts About Flutter
- A cross-platform user interface system developed in 2017 by Google
- It is X-compiled which means it communicates with mobile devices natively
- A cross-platform technology used to develop almost native mobile applications
- Has the ability to port the same code to the web portal
Some popular apps developed using Flutter language are:
- Google Ads
What is React Native
Although the React and ReactJs libraries are somewhat similar there’s a little important difference that one should know. The major difference lies in the development part. In React platform, the virtual DOM is utilized to generate code for browser-based apps in ReactJS. Whereas React Native APIs are used to create components for mobile-based applications in the same platform.
The core rules, the process, and the rest of things are similar. This is why one who has experience working in any one of the platforms can easily learn and work on another one.
Primary Facts About React Native
- A UI software framework was launched by Meta Platforms, Inc. in 2015.
- It is modular and intuitive architecture
- Support for third-party libraries
- Maximum Code Reuse & Cost Saving
Some popular apps developed using Flutter language are:
What is common amongst them?
React Native and Flutter are both popular cross-platform mobile app development choices at the present time that can function on both iOS and Android platforms. All rivalries have a number of things in common well, otherwise, there would be no competition at all. So, let’s first understand the shared qualities between these two, and then we’ll walk through their differences.
Here are the similarities between the two famous cross-platform mobile development toolkits:
- Using a single codebase high-performance cross-platform applications are created
- Using their own native components to display a user interface or 2D graphics engine and no web technology is used by them
- The apps built by both platforms are almost indistinguishable
- The architecture of both platforms are inspired by Reactjs
- The apps are highly flexible and are not tied to any platform-specific design constraints
How do they differ from each other?
Now that you’ve understood the similarities between the Flutter and React Native frameworks, we’ll go through the major differences. We will understand the factors that make entrepreneurs choose one for their business needs. Each framework has its own advantages and disadvantages and depending on your project parameters you should choose one.
The important thing is to understand the underlying differences between both frameworks rather than just following the trend and whatever people are saying. Let’s dig in and understand Flutter vs React Native based on some parameters.
1. Programming language
Dart & Flutter Framework: Dart programming language was developed in 2011for the Flutter framework. Many developers say that it is easy and fast to run code in this language than React Native. It comprises a number of OOP concepts which makes it easy to learn. Nowadays the popularity of the Dart language is increasing and more developers are turning towards it.
Flutter – Tricky & Slow to Install: Anyone who wants to install this framework need to first download the binary from GitHub. If you are going to install this framework in the mac operating system, you need to follow an additional step i.e. download an additional .zip file and add it as a PATH variable. This is one of the key differences between React Native and Flutter. It is tricky and slower to install.
You must note that online installation is lacking in both cases. The only thing that when it comes to macOS, an extra step is added to Flutter. So, you can choose anyone depending on other factors.
Flutter – Skia: As Flutter has a number of in-built native components so it does not require a bridge for communication with native components. But if you want to use it, you can use Dart language VM along with Skia which is a 2D graphics rendering library in a platform-specific shell. Dart VM compiles the source code and creates native code ahead of time. This stage is critical as the code just needs to be compiled in a way that integrates seamlessly with Android and iOS systems. No additional programming bridges are required to make things work.
4. Development Time
Flutter: A hot reload feature is also present in this framework but it is a little difficult to learn and use the new Flutter concepts. Dart is a new language and lacks support to many text editors and IDEs which restricts its expanding nature and thus lowers developers’ productivity.
5. UI and Development API
Flutter: This framework mainly relies on its own customized development language. This framework is completely customized with the use of its own widgets. The stark difference in UI development of both frameworks will be one of the factors that create the possibility of Flutter replacing React Native. When working with this framework you do not need any third-party apps or components and its hand-in-glove compatibility with Google differentiates it from other frameworks. Its widgets are already are consistent i.e. Material Design for Google and Cupertino for Apple platforms.
React Native: This framework uses third-party or customized frameworks. It has a few ready-to-use widgets and building and designing an app in this framework need more work and expertise. The React Native API rendering library may not support some native UI elements that may render the UI a bit off.
6. Code Reusability
Flutter: In Flutter vs React Native comparison, code reusability is one the most important points to consider. The code written in the Flutter framework is more reusable than in the React Native framework. This allows developers to create and define a single UI widget tree that can be reused again. The defined logic can be used repeatedly without making a lot of differences in it.
React Native: React Native allows you to write code once and ship it to any platform. But it usually comes with some caveats which mean that compatibility with each mobile app platform is not always guaranteed. This means that developers may first have to check the platform compatibility and load various sets of components to make it work again and again. These modifications can affect the development time and cost.
7. Quality Assurance
Flutter: Flutter also offers integrated quality-control testing features similar to other programs developed and launched by Google. You can easily test a single widget, in addition, integration testing can also be done easily. It also offers detailed testing documentation.
React Native: Sadly this framework has no or less integrated unit test features. Developers can use third-party frameworks such as Jest or Detox to get this facility. It is an add-on functionality but can be easily integrated.
8. Popularity & Community Support
Flutter: This framework is new in the development community and people are still getting to know it and are starting to work on it.
As per the 2019-2021 survey results of Statista.com, Flutter is the most popular and widely used framework by global developers and 42% of global software developers used this framework in 2021. Although React Native was leading in popularity in 2019 and 2020, last year i.e. in 2021, the tables turned and Flutter wins the race.
According to Stack Overflow’s Developer’s Survey of 2021, 13.55% of the community loved and showed interest in working with the Flutter framework. And when it comes to React Native, the percentile increased and reached 14.51.
9. DevOps & CI/CD Support
Flutter: We know that Flutter lost a point in community support but it gains what it lost in CI/CD official documentation. In the documentation of the Flutter framework, there is a complete section in the documentation dedicated to DevOps and CI/CD support. It includes numerous links that help in the addition of CI/CD to its applications an easy and convenient process. It is estimated that the usage of this support is likely to increase.
React Native: Facebook assured that React Native framework has several third-party libraries, third-party support, help guides, and a lot more. When it comes to comparing both frameworks in terms of DevOps Support, React Native is a clear winner. Developers find it easy and enjoy using it.
Flutter vs. React Native: Tabular Comparison
|Installation||Quick Installation||Slow Installation|
|Architecture||Meta’s Flux Architecture Is Used||In-built native components|
|Development Time||Ready to use components lessens development time||More development time is taken than React Native|
|Community Support||Extensive||Limited but fast-growing|
|Code Reusability||You can keep the logic and structure of the components but have to re-write the Ul code.||Having its own set of libraries, Futter allows you to reuse 95% of the code.|
|Quality Assurance||You can use third-party frameworks for this facility||Allows Unit as well as integration testing|
|DevOps & CI/CD Support||High DevOps Support||Both DevOps and CI/CD support is available|
|Performance||Good performance||Superior Performance|
A Framework to Choose which one is right for you
React Native is an ideal framework if you want to build simple cross-platform and native apps. On the other hand, Flutter works better when you have to create MVP apps and various integrations. To make a clear decision, we’ve created a checklist to help you select the best technology for your app.
One should choose Flutter, if:
- You don’ need full native functionality in your app.
- You have a less budget and a short delivery timeline.
- You have to do fast coding and launch it quickly in the market.
- You have to create apps that work at a speed between 60 FPS and 120 FPS.
- You want to create an app and customize its UI with widgets and less testing.
One should choose React native, if:
- Scaling of existing applications with cross-platform modules is required.
- You have to create applications that are lightweight native.
- You want to create shared APIs.
- You want to create apps with high responsive UI and asynchronous build.
- You have a sufficient amount of time and money to spend on your business app.
To conclude, Flutter and React Native have their own characteristics and are both good for building mobile apps. The platform that you choose to work with depends totally on your requirements, so, understand the factors that differentiate one from the other. If you’re still in dilemma, get the right guidance from an expert mobile app developer. RV Technologies is one of the best mobile app development companies in Canada, the USA, and other countries, and since inception, we’ve been working hard to deliver quality requirements. For both React Native and Flutter app development services, you can rely on us. Professional and experienced managers at RV Technologies world be happy and love to help you sort this all for you.